16 Feb 2021: Congress government in Puducherry in minority as another MLA resigns
The Indian National Congress-led government in the union territory of Puducherry is now in minority with the resignation of lawmaker A John Kumar on Tuesday.
Kumar, who represented the Kamaraj Nagar constituency, is the fourth lawmaker of the Congress party to have quit over the past month.
The resignation comes a day ahead of party leader Rahul Gandhi's visit to the UT.
Details: Kumar resigned citing 'dissatisfaction with Congress government'
Kumar resigned from his post citing "dissatisfaction with the Congress government."
He submitted his resignation letter to Legislative Assembly Speaker V Sivakolunthu on Tuesday.
He had won the Kamaraj Nagar by-election in 2019.
Kumar's resignation comes just a day after Puducherry Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao had resigned as an MLA. He had previously resigned from his ministerial post.
Fact: 2 Congress lawmakers joined BJP last month
In January, Congress lawmakers A Namassivayam and E Theepaindan had also resigned and joined the rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Another Congress lawmaker, N Dhanavelu, was disqualified in July for anti-party activities.
Assembly: Party's strength in Assembly slips to 10
The Congress had won the 2016 Puducherry election, bagging 15 seats in the 30-seat Assembly.
It also had the support of three Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam lawmakers and independent legislator N Ramachandran.
The party's strength in the Assembly has now dropped to 10.
Meanwhile, the Opposition All India NR Congress, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, and BJP have seven, four, and three seats respectively.
Gandhi’s visit: Gandhi to visit Puducherry tomorrow ahead of polls this summer
Gandhi, the former Congress party chief, is set to visit Puducherry on Wednesday to kick-start the party's poll campaign.
Gandhi is scheduled to address fishermen in Solai Nagar in the Muthialpet Assembly constituency and later interact with students of the Bharathidasan Government College for women.
The UT is set to go to poll in April-May later this year.
Fact: Congress to contest upcoming polls as part of ruling-SDA
The Congress will contest alongside parties constituting the Secular Democratic Alliance (SDA), including the DMK, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy has said. Notably, the party—which has been losing support since its embarrassing defeat in the 2019 general elections—has already lost power in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.